Thursday 27 August 2009

Drug Death Statistics

Metro story;

Deaths have "soared by a fifth".

There were 235 deaths in 2008 compared to 196 in 2007. Well an increase of 39 deaths nationwide is hardly soaring. But a politician has to wade in:

"Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lambsaid that the figures were horrifying and showed the government's heavy-handed approach was not working."

Apparantly the toll of damage is immense and the cost to the NHS is enormous, but I would like to see some numbers.

The total deaths for illegal drugs rose 11% to 2928.
Heroin and morphine deaths rose from 829 to 897 from 2007 to 2008.
Cannabis deaths from 12 to 19 from 2007 to 2008.

This makes Ben Goleman's point that using numbers is better than percentages as cannabis would be over a 50% increase.

The last line made me smile.
"Drug deaths remain dwarfed by those from alcohol, put at nearly 9,000 in a year."

I wonder what the toll of damage and the cost the NHS is of alcohol related problems.